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Studio B With Shepard Smith

News/Business. Shepard Smith. Shepard Smith reports on the days top news stories. New. (CC)

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Benghazi 31, Us 17, Libya 12, Washington 8, Afghanistan 7, Tunisia 6, America 5, United States 4, Colombia 4, Mullen 3, Iraq 3, Iran 2, Tunis 2, Clinton 2, Mueller 2, Glen Doherty 2, Chris Stevens 2, Egypt 2, Tripoli 2, Florida 2,
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  FOX News    Studio B With Shepard Smith    News/Business. Shepard Smith. Shepard Smith  
   reports on the days top news stories. New. (CC)  

    January 23, 2013
    12:00 - 1:00pm PST  

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what kind of security upgrades or radio communication was necessary. and there were a few that were only partially implemented because of separate security concerns that that would have raised, but there was the need for jn going funding. you remember that admiral crowe said we wanted 2.2 billion dollars for building embassies, he we had a number of embassies that were built in those early years thanks to your legislation and then it petered off. we put so much time and attention into iraq and afghanistan, trying to make sure that we secured our people there, we sent a lot of our diplomatic security personnel there. and so, what we had a slowdown over a number of years in our ability to build new facilities and now the latest arb is saying let's get back and do this again because there's no substitute for it. >> i'm almost out of time, madam secretary. when did you aware of
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ambassador stevens' request and how do you respond to it and did he ever personally ask you to be involved? >> no, no, and-- >> and any of the requests, cables having to do with security did not come to my attention. >> you are one of our great secretaries of state whether it is leading efforts to enforce sanctions on iran, your work supporting women's rights around the world, engaging with civil society and restoring and maintaining american influence in a very difficult era. i would have thought your last hearing would be your chance to give us some advise for what to do over the next four years and
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beyond. i take seriously your strong advise because i lap to agree with it, it is about time we pass an authorization bill for both houses of congress. instead, we are here in our third hearing to deal with the tragic events this benghazi because it is a chance for each political party to beat up on the other. we can talk about how republicans didn't provide you with resources. we can talk about the administration inside the state department. i would hope maybe we can get you to come back again. i realize that would be gratis, you would not be on the government payroll and do the hearing i would like to have which is getting your input on the bigger issues of foreign policy. ultimately the security of our diplomats depends on the host
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country. this all a discussion about well, there might have been five security people on the ground, if only there was more funding or deployment, or this cable or that cable maybe there would be eight or nine security people on the ground which might have led to more protection or might have led to more casualties. in washington, the decision was made to provide well more than 16 security people to libya and nobody that i know in washington, dc, was involved in the issue of how many of those were in benghazi going with the ambassador or there in advance. the decision that all 16 weren't with him was a decision you cannot blame either political party or anyone in washington. ultimately, all we can have in our embassies is enough to keep
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off a militant attack for a few hours and after that if the host country doesn't come to a rescue it doesn't matter if we have three, six, 12, 16, or 36 armed guards and marines at the location. an aspect of protecting our diplomats in the future is bringing to justice the criminals who did this, this time. we did a lot for the people of libya. we did a lot for those who are now ruling. how would you appraise their efforts to cooperate with us in the investigation? does this libyan government have the will and the capacity to arrest suspects involved, and, of course, will and capacity tend to go with each other and i think they would have to at
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minimum strain their capacity to try to arrest powerful armed elements in the east were part of the country. i don't know if they, even if they have the will to use that capacity. can you tell us, after the attack, and now we are trying to bring the culprits to justice, what do you think of the libyan government? >> i think, congressman, you drew exactly the right description. is it will or is it capacity when obviously what you need is both. i have found the libyan officials to be willing but without capacity. part of our challenge is to help them build greater capacity because now it is about them. it is not only about what happened to news benghazi which every official in the libyan government was deeply upset about but they have their own
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problems now. they have leaders attacked and assassinated on a regular basis. we have to do more to help them build up their security capacity. again, i ask this committee to work with us. there are holds on a lot of the execute funding that goes to libya to assist in building capacity. there are those, i know, in the congress who say libya is a wealthy nation, we don't need to give them money. until they get up and going, it is in our great interest to give them the resources like we have with other countries the past 40 years. >> and now over to representative from california. >> thank you, chairman, and thank you for being with us today and putting yourself through this. let me note that fixing responsibility was referred to anew today and identifying bad policy and mistakes is the way democracies fix problems. it is not all politics.
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it is how we do things here to make it better so none of us should apologize for trying to get to the nitty-gritty. let me just note assistant secretary of state lamb testified here in congress budget considerations played absolutely no role in her decision, her decision, not yours, but you approved, her decision what the level of security would be there at benghazi. any suggestion this is a budget issue is off base or political. madam secretary, you told the senate this morning you learned of the attack around 4:00 p.m. on that day and you were involved widely in the coordinated response which included the department of defense, the white house, but did not speak to the president until later that evening. when did you talk to the
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president? >> two things. on the first point you made congressman, it was found that budget issues were at take. >> she testified unoath --. >> that is why you have an independent group, created to look at everything so . >> everything has their own opinion. >> i urge --. >> when did you see the president? >> i talked to the president at the end of the day but i had been in constant communication with the national security advisor and on secure video conferences with high level officials in the white house and the defense department. >> secretary lamb, she testified she witnessed this if real time, the attack, in real time on a monitor. at any time did you see the initial attack on a monitor? >> with the president? >> congressman, there was no monitor there was no real time.
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we got the surveillance videos some weeks later. that was the first time we saw any video of the attack. i think there was a misunderstanding. i think that, perhaps, and i am just trying to clarify this, i may be going beyond my brief here, but i think perhaps what she was talking to ds people who were trying to understand w on. >> admiral mullen in briefing us suggested they had seen some kind of video and that in a few moments it was very clear this was a very coordinated terrorist attack and not some demonstration. >> i think the surveillance video which some of you may have seen in a classified setting does demonstrate what happened that night. >> as you dealt with the crisis, did you think or act on the basis this was a film protest gone out-of-control and when you briefed the president did you
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tell him that? or did you tell him what admiral mullen suggested you knew, this was a well mapped and executed terrorist attack? which was the president. >> first of all i said the very next morning it was an attack by armed militants and the president said that morning it was an act of terror. at the same time, however, i was dealing with protests against our facilities that were clearly connected to that video. so, we were managing a number of events. >> so, say you noted, and it can be, people do this, so that you can say you said it, but the emphasis, we all remember the emphasis, over and over and over again it was repeated that we had enraged the islamic terrorists which, by the way, what does that do? you say we enraged the islamic
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terrorists, what means we are at fault. they are not at fault. then to look and see the only people in jail right now is the filmmaker, isn't this a bit disconcerting? >> first, congress map, i want to be clear that of course it was a terrorist attack. the very next day i called it an attack by armed militants on our compound. i think there is still, however, questions about exactly what caused it, who the attackers were. after months of research, the picture is still very complicated. i think it is worth members looking at both the unclassified and classified material with that in mind. >> mr. meeks of new york. >> let me first thank you for an
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extraordinary daughter who came to the rockaways after sandy just helping people unannounced without fanfare, just getting down and helping people because she needed help after that tell storm so that was extraordinary public service and i want to also say, madam secretary, that you have been secretary of state, at an extraordinary time in the history of the united states of america and the world. you have managed to challenge in an extraordinary manner when you took the job america had a tarnished image abroads you have revived our brand and traveled over a million miles to the most challenging areas of the world and touched the lives of the most vulnerable. with your leadership of initiatives you have deepened our confidence that foreign aid can be responsibly spent. on behalf of a grateful nation
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and the people of the 5th congressional district i thank you for a job well done. the attacks on our mission at benghazi were a painful reminder that our diplomats are in harm's way and there are in some of the same and unstable and hostile environments as our military but they do not have the same means of protecting themself. we go back and talk and i know in this committee i heard admiral mullins and ambassador pickerring saying that money was and is in the budget is important and makes a difference sadly this house of representatives has failed to do its part in addressing the challenges they face after the tragedy in benghazi. you, how, have been responsibly and accepted the recommendations of the arb and put measures in place after the september attack demonstrating you are serious about changing the status quo but again it is a two way street.
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congress has failed to act in a meaningful way. it is a shame on the leadership of congress for the failure to give the state department the authority to transfer already propose rated funds, money that you already have, toward funds to bomb stepping security for our diplomats to give you that discretion. shame on the house of representatives for failing to adequately fund the administration's request for diplomatic security funding. i hope this congress will act swiftly to fix the critical funding matters. it is also my hope we finally have a state authorization bill that the president can sign into law. let me ask you this question, at the time of the benghazi attacks, you indicated there was uprising going on in egypt and yemen and tunisia. no one could have imagined, i am sure you did not when you took
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office, we would have the arab spring and the nations in the various countries. i want to ask you a question that mr. sherman was asking, get your thoughts on what members of congress and how we might move forward with the nations of the arab spring so maybe that is a way we can prevent these kind of things from happening in the future. >> it is an excellent question, congressman, and deserves a very thoughtful answer longer than the time i have but let me make three quick points. first, we cannot retreat from, give up on, turn our backs on the new arab spring revolutionary countries and new regimes. they are very new. most of them have leaders that have never run anything. they have come from backgrounds where they are suspicious of security because security was a dirty word and threw them in jail. it harassed them and their
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families. we have to do some work. that work requires we stay engaged. second, we have to do a better job in helping rebuild security apparatus that can be used. an example, we had a tell assault on our embassy in tunis. i called the president of tunisia and said you have to send reinforcements right now. our embassy is going to be over run. he sent it. it stopped. the government has been responsive understanding the terrorists do not just threaten us in western countries, they threaten the stability and the future of the governments. we have to help them the way we helped colombia years ago. finally, we need to do a better job conveying a counter narrative to the extremist jihadist narrative. i have said to this committee before with a lot new members on it, we have abdicated
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broadcasting arena. yeses we have private stations, cnn, fox, nbc, all of that, they are out there, they convey information but we are not doing what we did during the cold war. our broadcasting board of governors is practically defunct in terms of capacity to be able to tell a message around the world. we are abdicating the ideological arena. we need to get back into it. we have the best values and best narrative. most people in the world just want to have a good, decent life that is supported by a good decent job and raise their families and we let the jihad narrative fill a void. we need to get in this and compete. we can do it successfully. >> over to the ohio representative. >> madam secretary, first i thank you for your service. i wish you the best in your future endeavors, mostly. i have a couple of questions but
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i do want to take a moment or two to say a couple of words about our late ambassador chris stevens, many members and staff on our committee have had the opportunity to know and to work with him even before he was named our u.s. ambassador to libya. all would agree he was one of our most able diplomats. i had the opportunity to meet with him in tripoli a little less than a month before he and three other outstanding americans were murdered to benghazi. his enthusiasm for the job was something to behold. he was excited about the opportunity to help a nation newly freed from decades of bra tall dictatorship. on my first night in the country i had the opportunity to join the ambassador for a dinner with a number of newly elected libyan parliamentarians. they were optimistic about building a democracy, creating a
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vibrant economy, and restoring fundamental human rights for libyan people. he was as enthusiastic as they were about the prospect. there is no question he will be missed by all who knew him and who worked with him. one of the things that troubles me, madam secretary, is the hoops we on this committee have had to jump through to get to the facts surrounding the deaths of the public servants. the state department has delayed and delayed coming forth with information when this committee was finally presented with relevant data it had amounted to what could be called a document dump, hundreds of pages of paper in wide disarray in no particular order in terms of relevance or chronology often in duplicate but in different binders making it very difficult to locate documents that were of any help. our public servants if libya who were murdered on september 11th,
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and it is now january 23, more than four months later, it is unacceptable the accident has made it so difficult for congress to exercise oversight responsibility. a couple of questions. in a couple of months of the attack during the july/august period, ambassador stevens pressed concern about militia activity in benghazi and the need to aessential security assistance. we have seen the cables where security officers on the ground expressed considerable frustration at difficulty getting the personnel they believed were needed. we know now that management of security personnel guaranteed limited institutional knowledge was grossly inadequate. why was the department hierarchy so obstinate and why deny a
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personal play from the ambassador given his expertise on libyan affairs why did the senior leadership not take into consideration the approaching september 11th anniversary if light of direct requests from our mission in libya? finally, we have heard numerous times oh the last several months that more funding is needed for diplomatic security including in your temperature before the senate foreign affairs committee under some extent this afternoon. i don't believe there is anyone in this room who doesn't want to protect our diplomats stationed abroad in dangerous regions. since 2000 congress has provided funding in the neighborhood of $10 billion for embassy security construction of maintenance and we will no doubt continue to provide significant funding in the future. given that our nation faces a mountain of debt, sadly i might add given short shrift by the president in his inaugural address, of course it means we cannot fund every single program
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that every federal agency requests. when we increase funding in one area we have to consider cuts in others. that is how it should work. the state department currently, are they conducting internal revies, for example, to determine what offsets in current program funding might be considered? finally, i know that some have been peddling the story about it is congress' fault for not providing sufficient funding. i note that your chief financial officer stated and i quote, "i do not file we have ever been at a point where we have sacrificed security due to lack of funding." i appreciate your remarks. >> the gentleman has used his five minutes if we want to get through the members we have to hold to those five minutes so i will ask for a response in writing and we.
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go now to the representative from florida. >> thank you, you do not have to wait because those were good questions. secretary clinton, i thank you for the truly remarkable job that you have done as secretary of state. you have represented the interests of this nation magnificently and i hope after a bit rest you will consider return to public service should that return to florida i look forward to welcoming you there. i would be remiss not to take this opportunity to again thank you for your efforts on behalf of my constituent, robert levenson who went missing 147 days ago in iran. i asked the department do everything it can to return him to the family. i thank you for the way you handled the events in benghazi. your personal commitment to ensuring that those americans
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who serve american interests overseas often at great risk to themselves is a testament to the commitment you have shown throughout your tenure of state to strengthen our diplomatic efforts around the world. i return to the question of mr. chob, there is debate on the hill how we spend our dollars, and we all recognize we have budgetary concerns. we recognize we have an obligation to provide security and protect american personnel abroad. as we end our military operations in iraq and wind down in afghanistan, what kind of strain will the presence of less military personnel in the region put on diplomatic security? >> that is a very important question we really are going to have to grapple with together i would hope. we saw, for example, when our
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troops withdrew from iraq it dramatically altered what our civilians were capable of being able to do. there had been over the course of the war in iraq a very good work, relationship between d.o.d., state, and usdia and we will face the same questions in afghanistan as the troops draw down from afghanistan. a lot of the places we don't have military resources. the department of defense was a very good partner to us in responding to benghazi but their assets were too far away to make much difference in a timely fashion. africom will look quite prescient because we will need to figure how to work more effectively together teen our civilian and military assets in
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africa. that would be a worthy subject of this committee working with the armed services committee because it is difficult. we have tried to work out more funding streams and cooperative relationship in order to be able to maximize the cooperation between us. >> when you talk about the feed to prioritize because of shortfalls construction budget and more marine security guards, what does that mean? what are the decisions that have to be made? how do they impact our diplomatic personnel? >> we have to do the right job prioritizing based on resources we have. i am the first to say it is not all about money but it is will not without budgetary consequences. we have to figure out right balance. second, after this happened i spoke with secretary panetta,
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chairman dempsey and asked the defense department to work with us to put together inner agency security assessment times to look at the high threat posts. our military brings a different perspective. that was a very important process which we are going to continue. we are also looking to see how we can better cooperate on the security aid we give to other countries. it has to be a combination of military assets and expertise. also, development. rule of law. democracy building. it cannot be one other. they have to be married together. >> if you could in the few seconds remaining, madam secretary, could you speak more broadly about the important role that will play in the budget debate that will take place? why is it so important to continue to fund this? >> an example, colombia, 15 or on years ago was in a very difficult state.
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it had an insurgency. it had a drug cartel that was basically controlling territories. the united states stepped in, worked with the columbians and the progress is evident for all to see. there was a front page article in the travel section going to colombia. that is what america can do. we do not do it, we partner with willing governments to help them acquire the capacity to protect their own citizens. >> mr. joe wilson of south carolina. >> madam secretary, thank you for being here today. i appreciate your recognition of africom and colombia, extraordinary success stories promoting peace. the american people always appreciate american heroes. chris stevens and the others. i believe that the congressman
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is correct, an e-mail from the chief financial officer for diplomatic security following the benghazi attack, specific quote "although diplomatic security has been first call prudent i do not feel we have ever been at a point where we sacrifice security due to a lack of funding." i have faith in the chief financial officer that is correctful as we begin, it has been reported since you managed the response to the benghazi attack, why weren't you the first to appear on the sunday shows immediately following the attack and the ambassador rice said you declined. is that correct? >> i v to confess in public going on the sunday shows is not my favorite things to do there are oh things i prefer to do on sunday mornings and i have not
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been on a sunday show in way over a year. it just isn't something that i normally jump to do. i felt strongly that we had a lot we had to manage that i had to respond to and i thought that should be my priority. >> i believe part of the priority is telling correct information and you could have done that but it is unfortunate the multiple appearances by ambassador rice with information that has been incorrect. in november 21, 2000 edition of charlton couier he wrote there is in the state department an office in the secretary of state that is staffed around the clock 24/7 by seasoned foreign service officers and the function is to be sensitive to any threat to
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american interests wherever they might arise. the center has direct, secure communications lines to the white house situation room, the national military command center at the pentagon and the c.i.a. operations center. having works as an officer at the center i know that any information that indicates a threat to the safety of american citizens overseas is passed to other agencies mentioned above. if it is a significant message concerning american interests that is received it is the watch officers job to ensure the other agencies are informed." he goes on "there are many questions that need to be answered." i would like to present the questions. first, what was going on at the ops center of the state department in washington, dc, while our consulate was under attack if seven hours? >> we can certainly give you greater center but it is, as you
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have describeed, the place where communications go in and out. they were placing calls and receiving calls and deeply engaged in trying to help us. they don't reach out on their own but to help us acquire information so we could respond in real time. >> seven hours? there should have been a response. why the delay if laboring it as terrorism when it was immediately known that it was? >> again, i would say, congressman, we described the attack, i described the attack the next morning, the president called it an act of terror, there was as you will find in reading both the unclassified and classified version of the arb, there was a lot of questions who was behind it, what motivated it in the a.r.b. says the questions are not fully answered. >> he continues, why weren't marine guards posted in benghazi in the first place?
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>> because historically marine guards are at posts where this is classified information. marine guards have not historically had the responsibility for protecting personnel. their job is to protect and if necessary destroy classified military at our compound where there was no classified material. >> he continues in line with everyone else pointing out there were requests to enhance security that were denied. we were not able to reach all the questions i appreciate your responsing to the questions and i will submit them for the record for your office for written response. >> thank you, congressman. >> representative bass from california. >> thank you, chairman, and ranking member, for convening this hearing. secretary clinton, i take the time to thank you for your willingness to come before the committee for the final time. i offer my sincere and deep gratitude for your remarkable service to our nation and glad to know you are feeling better. for the past four years and well
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before you have put country first and if that our nation is indebted to you. with competence and careful consideration you have shown extraordinary leadership on countless issues ensuring the diplomacy is an essential part of our policy and your efforts to elevate rights of women and girls is without comparison and strengthened our state department and made it better today. as the ranking member on the african subcommittee i appreciate the attention you give to the 54 nations of africa which could lose the most steadfast and dedicated champions at the state department i trust africa is not far from your thoughts and remain a top priority in your future work. i associate my comments with congressman sherman who says it is unfortunate this is the last time we will hear from you so i will focus on moving forward and ask your advice.
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you made reference in your testimony about best value contracts and you mentioned several nations where best value contracts are not used. thinking about africa and what we are dealing with are those nations subject to the contracts and should we have waivers. >> thank now your emphasis on africa which will be increasingly important. there are only three nations where the state department has an exemption by congress for using different contracting rules in order to get the best value for our country. that is iraq, afghanistan, and pakistan. every other country in the world we are under the kind of contracting rules i think
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interfere with our capacity to get the best deal particularly when it comes to security we should in the countries where the threats unfortunately are going to always be with us. should we look to extend that to mali or somalia? >> there was an article i think in one of the newspapers today that went into detail. for more than two decades federal law required the state department to select the cheapest rather than the best contractor to provide local guard services at the embassies abroad. there is that olding you get what you pay for and this lowest-price provision started off in 1990 but it has stayed with us and i would respectfully request this committee take a hard look at it. you cannot do a total lifting of it for everyone look at the high
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threat posts where obviously we did it for iraq, afghanistan, and pakistan and the countries you made would fall into that category. >> among the various islamic extremist groups operating in africa today, in your view which poses the greatest threat, direct threat to the united states and given the limited capacity and in some cases the limited political will of the countries in which the groups operate, our u.s. military, intelligence, and security assistance resources devoted to the threats adequately or appropriately balanced? what recommendations do you have for us? >> if did you focus just on north africa, al qaeda is a brand name as much as an organization. people wake up and form the jihad group and claim to be associated or affiliated with al
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qaeda to gain credibility with local people and beyond. we have to take seriously all of terrorists groups whatever they call themselves. they do not necessarily at the moment have either the interests or the ability to attack our homeland but we have a lot of facilities. we have a lot of assets in north africa. we saw americans killed and held hostage at a gas facility because we do business all over that count innocent. -- over that continent so we have to up our military intelligence and diplomatic assets. >> we passed last year the best value contract language that you are speaking of in the house-passed appropriations measure and we will try to get our colleagues in the senate to take that measure up.
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>> welcome, madam secretary, thank you for your service. similar to september 11th, 2001, there were warning signs prior to benghazi september 11th. there was an april 62012 crude i.e.d. thrown over the wall of the facility in benghazi. may 22, 2012, red cross building in benghazi was hit by two rpg rpg's. the blind shake took responsibility for that attack june 6, 2012, consulate in beach gaza was targeted by an i.e.d. that blew a legal in the perimeter wall and the blind sheik took credit. in august we got a classified state department table warning the benghazi consulate could not withstand a coordinated attack
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and the regional security officer believes it could not be protected at an emergency meeting a month before the attack on september 11th. a contingency plan was drafted to move the operations to the c.i.a. annex a mile away from the compound. this cable is presumed to have been shared by senior staff and sent to your office and sent to the nsc and on september 11th the day the ambassador was killed he personally wanted of "a growing problem with security in benghazi and growing frustration with security forces and the libyan police." were you aware of that cable? >> that security cable did not come to my attention or above the assistant secretary level
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where the a.r.b. placed responsibility where ambassador pickerring said the rubber hit the road. >> when were you aware of this cable? >> after the a.r.b. gathered information and material. >> who in your office did see the cable? >> i am not aware of anyone in the secretary's office having seen the cable. >> in the national security council? >> i have no information of anyone in the national security council having seen that cable. >> was this a cable that was a surprise to you? >> congressman, it was very disappointing to me that the a.r.b. concluded this were inadequacies and problems in the responsiveness of our team here
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in washington to the execute requests that were made by our team in libya. i was not aware of that going on. it was not brought to my attention. obviously it is something we are fixing and intend to put in place. protocols and systems, to make sure it doesn't happen again. >> i hope so, when you have a united states ambassador personally warning about the situation, sending this cable to your office --. >> one point, 1.43 million cable as year come to the state department all addressed to me. they are reported through the bureaucracy. >> someone in your office should have seen this cable is my judgment. one last question. >> also, i want to clarify. with regard to the security
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request subsequent to the august 16 cable, our personnel in libya had not submitted any additional security requests to washington at the time of the september 11th attack. there was an ongoing dialogue between libya and washington. >> reclaiming my limited time. an emergency meeting was held and a cable sent out on august 16 by the ambassador himself warning what could happen and this cable went unnoticed by your office. that is the bottom line. >> the facts as we have them, congress plan and i am happy to have people give this in detail, it stated that security requests for benghazi would be forthcoming. the rso in benghazi submitted to tripoli a preliminary list of proposed security recommendations on august 23 but no requests submitted to washington before the attacks. this sounds very complicated and
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to some extent it is. we are trying to simplify it and avoid the kind of problems that are identified. >> why was he in benghazi on september? >> i will submit that question in writing. >> we will go to mr. keating of massachusetts. >> i must say after the tragedy in september what moved me were the comments of the family members of one of the heroes who lost their lives, glen doherty of massachusetts. they told people they should not lose sight of who was ultimately responsible for the deaths. an amazing statement putting things in perspective. the other thing they mentioned was do not lose sight of the causes the men gave their lives for. as a person who has advanced the
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causes u thank you for your incredible service. part of the a.r.b. report that concerned me dealt with a "culture of austerity" in the state department. madam secretary can you take a few moments and expand on their finding on that subject? >> congressman, that is what the a.r.b. found, that there was a culture of husbanding resources and being quite concerned about responding even on security as important as security is, because one never knows what the budget is going going forward? we have had some ups and downs budgetary-wise going back into prior administrations but it is
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fair to say that many of the professionals in the state department have gotten used to worrying greatly that they will give something to someone and that will become an expectation that will then have to be taken away. it did affect the security professionals' decisions according to the a.r.b. >> the prioritizations have to change not just for security reasons but for our overall mission. the crisis in mali and the insurgency this and the spreading jihadist threat in northern africa and the arabian peninsula, the relatively technologically advanced people and there are threats along that lines but i am concerned in concerns of culture austerity there, cyber threats and other security upgrades that will be
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vitally necessary. i hope that is not lost as we review the situation. can you comment on what we need in that regard going forward and how much of a threat this could pose to us. >> you mention a word that is rarely mentioned in the hearings but i predict will be a major threat to us. that is cyber. it is not only going to be nation-state where we are seeings cyber intrusion both against our government and against our private sector but increasingly non-state actors will have more capacity to disrupt, to hack into, to put out false information, to accuse the united states of things that can light fires before we can put them out. it is important to have a thoughtful, comprehensive review about the threats of today and the threats of tomorrow. that will help guide the
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committee, it will help guide the senate and certainly the administration in working together to answer them. >> thank you madam secretary. i will yield back the rest of my time. >> now to mr. poe of next. >> thank you again for your service to our country. several americans from my district, killed not in benghazi but killed at a remote gas facility in algeria killed in my opinion because they were americans. over the last weekend myself and others have tried to get information.
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i would say there is too much if my opinion red tape from trying to get basic information to the families as to what happened in a situation like that. i would hope the state department would look at that protocol and try to streamline it because people died. the algerian government now reports after they have captured some of the terrorists alive, some claiming to be from egypt, one says that after interrogation by the algerian government whatever that interrogation may entail, there were egyptians involved in the benghazi attack that were at the attack on the gas plant in algeria.
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at the time of the benghazi attack a terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack. we probably don't know if the statements made by the algerian or egyptian terrorists that was captureed were true or if egyptians were involved. it seems to show the whole region is very fluid with different groups getting together, causing mischief. as of today, several months later after the attack in benghazi, to your knowledge has any person been put in custody anywhere by any government for the responsibility as a suspect involved in the benghazi attack?
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>> congressman, there is one potential suspect who has been placeed under monitoring by the government of tunisia. there are other suspects the f.b.i. are chosely following and consulting with partner governments. based on my last conversation with the director mueller which was a few days ago, he went to libya, he went to tunisia. he believes the investigation is preceding -- proceeding. i know the f.b.i. has been on the hill doing whiched briefings. i hope the f.b.i. is able to investigate, identify, and hold responsible those who wage this
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attack against us. based on their work they feel they are pursuing very positive leads. >> my understanding is the person held in tunisia was released by a judge and that person has been released. basically we don't really know at this point who did it? >> congressman, i confirmed with director mueller who was just in tunisia meeting with their high official that this person is basically under law enforcement surveillance and forbidden to leave tunis. >> briefly, no one has been held accountable or charged with of this offense.
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before qadaffi was taken out my understanding the nation of qatar shipped in 18 shipments, 20,000 tons of weapons and machine guns to the region to help different groups overthrow muammar qaddafi. the united states gave a wink and a nod to this. i would lick a written answer to that. >> thank you now to the representative from rhode island. >> thank you. >> thank you for your extraordinary service to our country that earned you dope respect and admiration of people all over the world and enhanced america's standing all over the globe. your leadership on enhancing america national security and women's issues are too numerous
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to list but i thank you for all of your hard work and everything you is done in service to our country. thank you for your testimony today, the terrorist attacks on september 11th in benghazi, libya, resulted in the tragic deaths of ambassador stevens, sean smith, tyrone woods and glen doherty and are constant reminders of the work our diplomats engage in throughout the world. while we cannot eliminate all risks, it is our duty tone act protocols and policies that reduce the risks and provide the resources and support necessary to mitigate and manage the risks. i hope my colleagues consider the review board which you convened calling for and i quote, "a more serious and sustained kit -- commitment to support needs." this is important given implications that the sequester and potential government shut down has on our diplomatic
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security in high risk posts. i blend and thank admiral mullen for the comprehensive and prompt review they conducted and applaud you, madam secretary, for the adoption of all 29a.r.b. recommendations and undertaking their implementation and providing guidance on the status of the implementation here today and to say there has been some discussion of the response of getting to the nitty-gritty and fixing problems. i hope we will rory on the security professionals and advice and recommendations of the a.r.b. who will produce the best response. one thing you did, in anticipation of the recommendations, you created for the first time ever a diplomatic security deputy assistant secretary. with respect to the a.r.b.
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report examining the state department organization and management related to security planning, my expectation is that will be a responsibility of the new position. could you tell us about the role of the new secretary in the bureau, what responsibility the position will have and will this individual have the authority to reallocate resources to fill potential resource gaps. >> thank you, congressman. this is a deputy assistant secretary for high risk posts. i want one person held accountable talking to our intelligence pans and being a voice at the table not just for all 275 posts but, really, zeroing in on a real-time constant evaluation of what our high threat posts need. in addition do that we will continue our work with the defense department and the inner
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agency security assessment threats. for the first time i am elevating a lot of the security issues for high-threat posts to the secretary level because it hasn't been there before and given what we have experienced it needs to be. we are looking for the transfer authority to add to our marine security guards, our construction, and our diplomatic security. we are enhancing the training for everyone. we are taking a hard look at another problem the a.r.b. point ing out, our temporary duty assignments. given the expenses in iraq and afghanistan and other large posts, we have a lot of our most experienced diplomatic security people going there. the two times we have had serious assaults on our embassy in kabul which is has the isap
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troops across the street. as they draw down we have to recognize the danger is not going to leave with our isap military. we have to look at all of there and embed this responsibility in the new experienced deputy assistant secretary. >> thank you. >> madam secretary i appreciate your desire to come before our committee today to testify and answer questions do help us make the changes necessary to ensure the safety of our foreign service officers including those in the high threat regions but i am troubled but what seems to be the pattern of misleading the american people and failing to hold decisionmakers accountable. from operation fast and furious where attorney general holder
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has repeatedly misled the american people and congress about an intentional international gun walking scheme to the u.n. secretary rice who went before the american people days after the attack on benghazi talking about a demonstration at a facility that never happened. it was not suggested in any report or information coming from benghazi. the purpose of the hearing is to find out how to ensure another benghazi happens. i hope we include the aftermath of the tragedy. how we make sure that such greece mispresentations of attacks on americans never happen. a couple of other questions. you put the four victims identified as culpable on administration leave, what do you anticipate is the final resolution of their status with the department? the accountability review board did not identify a